Did you know that rustic southern Tuscany is a surprising destination for design lovers? Amongst its hills, vineyards and coastline you can find contemporary buildings and original parks created by famous designers, architects and artists!
Located near Castiglione della Pescaia, Le Mortelle Winery features a design wine cellar with organic architecture, with rocks that allow for natural thermoregulation. For the most part, the cellar lies underground, in efforts to reduce the impact on the environment to a bare minimum. The particular architecture enables the use of the best technologies for winemaking: the entire productive cycle follows the force of gravity, from high to low, beginning with the arrival of the grapes in the raised part and continuing with the winemaking processes at the intermediate level before being refined in the underground areas. This winery is owned by the Antinori’s, a historic family from Florence who has been in the wine business for 600 years.
Designed by architect Piero Sartogo, Tenuta dell’Ammiraglia is another beautiful and eco-friendly winery in Maremma. Gravity is harnessed to pour off the wine and renewable energy is used. The roof is covered with vegetation to ensure integration with the local area and to create the ideal microclimate in the barrel cellar below. Located near the medieval town of Magliano, this winery is owned by the Marchesi Frescobaldi family, which has been devoted to Tuscan winemaking for more than 700 years.
One of the most famous architects in the world, Renzo Piano, is behind the realization of Rocca di Frassinello in Gavorrano. The winery is essential in its design. Here too, the architect paid particular attention on the use of the force of gravity in the vinification process, so to ensure the highest quality for the wines. Usually the design of wineries follows the cycle of the productive process order: from the spaces for the reception and the selection of the grape to the fermentation room and the barriquerie, to the warehouse. Piano has revolutionized this concept, by placing the barriquerie at the center. It is a large square space with a huge roof that stands without any supporting column. The production cycle functions take place in spaces around the barriquerie.
For more information about Wine Architecture, visit winearchitecture.it
Near the medieval village of Capalbio and the Aurelia Road, is a magic world that you do not expect to find in rustic Southern Tuscany. The Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden) is an artistic esoteric park featuring gigantic statues that represent the Major Arcana, or trump cards, in the Tarot deck. It was conceived by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle and built between 1979 and 1998, when it was opened to the public. Its construction involved a number of contemporary artists like Rico Weber, Sepp Imhof, Paul Wiedmer, Dok van Winsen and Niki’s husband Jean Tinguely. The 22 majestic statues were built with steel and cement covered with glass, mirrors and colored ceramics. Niki’s concept was inspired by Antoni Gaudi’s Parque Guell in Barcelona and the Italy’s Bomarzo Monster Park in Viterbo. The park is open from the 1st of April to the 15th of October.
The Giardino di Daniel Spoerri is a lovely sculpture garden created by Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri in the early 1990s, and opened to the public in 1997. It is located in Seggiano, near Monte Amiata. As of now, the estate features 103 installations by about 50 artists in an area of 16 hectares. Of these, 79 bronze artworks are by Spoerri himself. A relaxing and entertaining walk of about 3 hours is required to see all of these pieces of art. At the entrance of the park you will find a Latin motto that reads “Hic Terminus Haeret”, which can be interpreted as “the end sticks here” as well as “the frontier/transition sticks here”. In fact, the word “Terminus” has ambiguous meanings. The verb “haeret” means “to stick like glue”, a fundamental material in Spoerri’s work. The Garden is open from Easter to October, and only by appointment during fall/winter. The setting next to the luxurious vegetation of Mount Amiata is simply dreamy!
Giardino Viaggio di Ritorno – literally “garden of the return trip” – is a path of contemporary sculptures made by bio-architect Rodolfo Lacquaniti. The installations were created with scrap and secondhand materials, and are a fantastic example of recycle art. This attraction is located in the former marshes of Buriano, near Castiglione della Pescaia, within the grounds of Agriturismo Podere il Leccio. For information on visit times contact rodolfolacquaniti.com
BotanicalDryGarden® extends over 40.000 m² near Orbetello. As its name suggests, it is a dry botanic garden that hosts more than 1.500 species and varieties of plants that can survive in a Mediterranean climate without being watered. The space is dedicated to experimentations, research and awareness generation towards the environment. It also features an open-air theater and an itinerary of contemporary art focused on the union of nature and culture. For more information visit botanicaldrygarden.com
Il Giardino dei Suoni di Paul Fuchs (The Garden of Sounds by Paul Fuchs) is in Boccheggiano (Montieri). In an isolated garden of 2 hectares you can find more than 20 works in iron, bronze and copper: they are arranged in particular positions and create sounds in complete harmony with the surrounding environment. They were created by eccentric Bavarian artist Paul Fuchs. You can only visit by appointment contacting tel. 0039 / 0566 / 998221 email@example.com For more information visit paulfuchs.com
Il Giardino di Piero Bonacina – Arte a Parte (Piero Bonacina’s Garden – Art Apart) is located in Montegiovi (Castel del Piano). It consists of an outdoor Atelier rich in sculptures made of wood, metal, cement and local stones, including pietra arenaria di Manciano and travertino di Saturnia. Needless to say, the sculptures blend perfectly in the landscape. For more information visit museidimaremma.it
Located in the neighboring region of Lazio, just 100 km away from Argentario Golf Resort & Spa, is the mysterious Sacro Bosco (Sacred Wood) also known as Parco dei Mostri (Monster Park) in Bomarzo. This Manieristic monumental complex was created during the 16th century in the gardens of condottiero and art patron Pier Francesco Orsini. The design is attributed to Pirro Ligorio, and the sculptures to Simone Moschino. The park’s name stems from the many larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock. For more information visit bomarzo.net
Maremma Tuscany also treasures a design hotel: Argentario Golf Resort & Spa. The dragonfly-shaped property features a limestone façade, while in the inside, interior designer Andrea Fogli has created a contemporary style with retro and extravagant touches.
An eco-conscious philosophy and a meticulous research of materials and modern décor: these are the ideas behind a new vision of the rustic and traditional Maremma Tuscany. At the Argentario Resort, the main symbol of this identity is the majestic entrance hall, where the intense colors of the sky and of the Mediterranean vegetation stand out through enormous glass windows and contrast with the tabarca-stone pavements, the arched counters and the opaque black structural elements.
The rooms express their individual personality through a sophisticated and comfortable design, ranging from the minimalist look in a contemporary art-gallery style to the most glamorous and metropolitan spirit with chrome plating and stone tubs.
The Dama Dama Restaurant is a contemporary vision of an elegant mountain retreat. The lounge bar, located at the base of a grand, white spiral staircase, features the amusing Pig Tables by Marcel Wanders and an unlikely science laboratory on the counter.
The Espace Wellness Center seems suspended between retro and modern, where large windows overlook the green landscape, and the chromo-therapy lights and the pool water reflection create a relaxing atmosphere for the guests’ physical and mental wellbeing.
Among the many special design pieces that you will find in our resort, you won’t fail to notice: the social table by Vincent Van Duysen and the Cappellini chairs by Marcel Wanders at the Dama Dama Restaurant; the Pig Tables by Marcel Wanders for Moooi and the chandeliers by Ron Gilads in our bar; the writing desk by Bertjan Pot and the ‘furry’ chairs by Patricia Urquiola in our hall.
Argentario Resort is only 90 minutes away by car from Rome, where you can find MAXXI, or Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo. It is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture, designed as a multidisciplinary space by Zaha Hadid and committed to experimentation and innovation in the arts and architecture. The design of Zaha Hadid was the winner of an international design competition.
Would you like to explore these and other concepts of Design in Maremma, Tuscany and nearby Rome? Book your design vacation now at Argentario Golf Resort & Spa!